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Spelling Bee Champ Breaks 'German Curse'

Arvind Mahankali is first boy to win since 2008
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted May 31, 2013 3:10 AM CDT

(Newser) – This year's National Spelling Bee winner is a 13-year-old eighth-grader from New York. Arvind Mahankali triumphed on the word "knaidel," meaning dumpling, thus conquering his trouble with German-derived words; they've knocked him out of the running in the previous two competitions. "The German curse has turned into a German blessing," he said. Mahankali became the first boy to win the contest since 2008, USA Today notes.

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The Scripps national contest began Tuesday in Oxon Hill, Maryland, with 281 competitors; the number was whittled down to 11 finalists in last night's bout. Along with his trophy, Mahankali gets $30,000 in cash, a US savings bond of $2,500 courtesy of Merriam-Webster, and a $2,000 collection of reference materials from Encyclopedia Britannica. So what's next for Mahankali? Not Disney World: "I shall spend the summer, maybe the entire day, studying physics," he said, per CNN. (Read more Scripps National Spelling Bee stories.)

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